The Victory Tour rolls on to game number eight. The United States Women’s National Team will be hosting China PR on Sunday at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
China is a country that can surprise the United States if they fail to take care of business quickly. In the 2015 Women’s World Cup the Chinese finished in second place of their group. In the group stages China started with a defeat against the host nation Canada. However, then they rebounded and defeated the Netherlands 1-0 and then ended the first round with a draw 2-2 against New Zealand.
In the second round they defeated Cameroon in the round of 16, but their run ended with the USWNT defeating them 1-0 in the quarterfinals. Regardless of China’s impressive run in the World Cup the USWNT are favorites to win this match.
Since 2012 the United States has faced China nine times. The USWNT enjoys a successful (W-L-D) 8-0-1 record against the Chinese. The U.S. has dropped 26 goals on them while only conceding three in the process. The Americans have shutout the Chinese six times.
However, the last two times the two counties met the score lines have been getting closer. At the ending of 2014, China played the United States to a 1-1 draw. Then the U.S. barely got by them in the quarterfinals of the World Cup. Slow the gap between the two countries is starting to shrink.
The U.S. only played one game against Trinidad and Tobago and they still managed to drop six goals, the Stars and Stripes will not be able to do that against the Chinese. However, U.S. head coach Jill Ellis will have a better test for her youngster to show their talents.
By the end of the T&T game American got to know who Lindsey Horan was. Against the Caribbean Nation the 21-year-old midfielder displayed her creative side to the world. She dropped two assists and scored a goal as well.
However, what was more impressive about her play was the vision and accuracy she had. Horan was constantly picking her head up and delivering passes that thread the needle and broke the back of the Trinidad and Tobago defense.
If Horn is able to perform at the same level against China she will find herself on the national team more frequently. Another youngster for the Americans is Crystal Dunn. She did not score against T&T but she was all over them on Thursday.
She will need to replicate that performance for the same reason Horan needs another good game: the 2016 Women’s Olympic Qualifications. Both Dunn and Horan will be looking to make their statement against China on Sunday.
One thing is for sure the two of them will see action and Ellis will be keeping an eye on them. However, the manager might want to reward Christen Press for her hat-trick performance with a start against China. Letting Press have more time in a game might give birth to a goal scoring machine for the Stars and Stripes.
Ellis will want her team to run and play freely against China. However, for her and the youngsters this match will represent a test to see who is ready for the next level. Because players like: Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Julie Johnston, and others are ready to step up since they have the experience.
Of course at some point Abby Wambach will enter the game and give the United States that extra motivation to score more goals and extend the lead.
Prediction: USWNT 3-1 China